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May 18, 2018

1908 July 2 Head On Train Wreck at Knob Noster 9 Killed 30-50 Injured

Two Bodies Discovered in Wreckage 
Detached Arm was Recovered 
Coroner's Jury Investigating Wreck. 
By the Associated Press. Sedalia, July 3. 
Two additional dead bodies were found today in one of the telescoped baggage cars brought here today from Knobnoster near the scene of the collision yesterday yesterday of two Missouri Pacific passenger trains. The bodies were identified as J. B. Campbell, a baggage man, of St. Louis, and W. P. Welsh, express messenger, of St. Louis. A detached arm was also found in the wreckage but the body to which it belongs was not in the wreckage brought here. A. Strang, the train dispatcher here, who gave order changing the regular meeting point of the trains, was summoned before the coroner's jury which is investigating the wreck in Knobnoster today. 

Sedalia. Mo., July 1. The search for bodies in the wreckage of the fast mail trains to the Missouri Pacific, which met in a head-on collision at Knobnoster, was continued tonight. tonight. The seventh body, that of a little girl, was found this afternoon. She has not been identified. The three cars on the westbound train which were telescoped were hauled to this city tonight. One of these cars, the smoking car, it is believed, contains several bodies, but the wreckage is twisted together so tightly that little progress was made. 
The searchers believe that at least three more bodies will be found. A baggage man named Campbell and two helpers are missing. They have not been seen since the accident and, it is believed that they were buried in the wreckage. The railway officials refuse to give out any information as to what caused the wreck. They say it will take an official investigation to determine who is to blame. The general impression impression is that a "lap"' order was given to the two train crews. The first order was to stop at Knobnoster. Later this was changed to Lamonte and it is supposed that the engineer of the westbound train did not receive the second order. Secret service men and the police are guarding the cars here. It is known that they contain $8,000 in currency. The wreckage at Knobnoster was cleared late this afternoon afternoon and trains are running as usual. The injured in the Missouri Kansas & Texas railway hospital are said to be improving. It is said that none will die. 

C. W. Jones and F. W. Shaub of St. Louis, mail clerks, were among those injured. Each said that the crash came so suddenly that they did not have time to jump for their lives, Jones said the engineer on No. 3 reversed his engine, but before he could get to the door of the car the crash came. It is estimated that about about 2,000 persons visited the scene of the wreck. Physicians and persons from Knobnoster and Lamont assisted in caring for the injured until until the relief train came and took hem to the Missouri Pacific hospital at Sedalia. 
Clipped from 
The Daily Republican, 03 Jul 1908, Fri

KNOBNOSTER, Mo., July 2. -- Six persons were killed and at least thirty six injured two miles east of here when the fast California special train from St. Louis on the Missouri Pacific collided with the St. Louis special train from Kansas City at 5:20 this morning.
Both trains were going at full speed. The California special left St. Louis on time last night, carrying five cars, including two mail cars. The train from Kansas City was held two hours to await the two cars of discharged soldiers from Fort Leavenworth. This train carried eight cars.

A. Strang, train dispatcher at Sedalia, issued an order for the trains to meet at Knobnoster. Later this order was changed and the meeting place fixed at Lamonte, seven miles east of here. Whether the dispatcher at Sedalia failed to deliver the train order to the crew of the St. Louis train or the operator of at Lamonte erred in not flagging the train is a mystery for the official investigation.

Both engineers reversed their engines and jumped. The impact of the two engines threw both of the engines off the track. The cars piled up on the wreckage, four cars on the St. Louis train and three cars on the train from Kansas City leaving the rails.

J. S. Snediker, superintendent of the Missouri Pacific at Ossawatomie, Kan., was a passenger on the train from St. Louis. Wrecking trains were ordered from Sedalia and Kansas City. The dead and injured were taken to Sedalia.

Riverside Independent Enterprise, Riverside, CA 3 Jul 1908

The dead:

MICHAEL J. BURKE, lineman for Western Union Telegraph company, 28 years old, Poplar Bluff, Mo.

S. R. ENGLISH, lumberman, Olena, N.Y., and representative of Miller county

FRED S. TORY, lineman Western Union Telegraph company, Frankin, Ky.

W. J. FIRSBIE, St. Louis, salesman for Robert, Rand Shoe company.

JOHN HOOD, Hurley, Mo., lineman
W. H. HARDING, mail clerk, St. Louis.
J. W. FISHBACK, St. Louis
W. P. WELSH, Express Messenger, St. Louis

The Injured. (30 or so)

W. M. HORNBEAK, Washington, D. C., bruised.

MRS. W. A. LITTLE, Washington to Wallace, Idaho; slightly injured.

AGNES RUPORE, Roswell, N. M., bruised arm.

JOSE VIRELING, Roswell, N., M. head cut.
The more seriously Injured are:
SHAUB, FRED W., St. Louis; mail clerk; leg broken, scalp and shoulder cut.
JONES. C. E. St., Louis; mall clerk; leg -bruised -bruised and shoulder cut.
VINCENT, FRANK. St. Louis, mail clerk; badly cut about scalp and' shoulder.
FLEMING. B. C, (negro) St. Louis; mall clerk; head cut and arm bruised.
OWENS, E. P., St. Louis; mail clerk; head cut and arm bruised.
BURKE, E. F.. engineer. Sedalia; left shoulder shoulder bruised and chest Injured.
WEATMAN, JOHN P., Kansas City to St. Louis; sprained back.
LOEBYER, P. C., Ind.; back sprained.
P. H. ROBERTS, the most seriously injured of all is likewise doing nicely and the physicians predict that the will recover.

A. W. HUARD, of New Orleans, LA a blind baggage traveler on one of the colliding trains, will be discharge tonight (July 10).
GEORGE MURPHY, of St. Louis, a traveler in the same compartment, will be discharged as soon as his injuries permit
Wreck Victim Returns Home. 
Ernest P. Owen, of Tuxedo Park. St. Louis county, who was injured in the Missouri Pacific wreck at Knobnoster, where eight men were killed, was taken to his home Saturday from the M., K. & T. hospital at Sedalia. Owen’s collar bone was broken and he suffered body bruises, wife accompanied him from the hospital to their home. 
Wreck Victims to Hospital. 
Ed Williams, a Missouri Pacific conductor: 
Henry Anleitner. Engineer. 
Fireman E. F. Lewis
Fireman C. j M. Billo all of whom were injured in the head-end collision between two Missouri Pacific trains west of Lamonte last Thursday, went to Kansas City this morning to be treated at the company hospital.Trains Ran Fall Speed.
Both trains were going at full speed. A. Strang, train dispatcher at Sedalia, issued an order for the trains to meet at Knob Noster. Later this order was changed, and the meeting placed fixed at Lamonte, seven miles east of here. Whether the dispatcher at Sedalia failed to deliver the train order to the crew of the St. Louis train, or the operator at Lamonte erred In not flagging the train, or the engineer of the St. Louis train believed the train on the siding was the one he was to meet, Is a matter for Investigation.

A Charge of Manslaughter Against the Missouri Pacific Operator at Lamonte.
SEDALIA, MO., July 8. -- Charles Taylor, a Missouri Pacific telegraph operator at Lamonte, who was on duty on the night when two Missouri Pacific passenger trains collided head on near Knobnoster last week, was arrested at Dresden, today on charge of manslaughter.  Eight persons were killed, about thirty injured in the collision. Taylor and a dispatcher, F. W. Strange of this city, were held responsible by the coroner's jury.  Strange has not been arrested.
Kansas City Star, Kansas City, MO 9 Jul 1908

1908 The Knobnoster Train Wreck   Sedalia Democrat 10 July - The Knobnoster Wreck. Coroner Bradley called...
The Sedalia Democrat
Sedalia, Missouri
Fri, Jul 10, 1908 – Page 10
The Knobnoster Wreck. 
Coroner Bradley called the coroner’s jury together in this city Monday morning at 10 o’clock to investigate the Missouri Pacific head-end collision of July 2, says the Knobnos­ter Gem, Conductor E. E. Williams, of No. 12. was examined. It was found that No 12 arrived here about 5 o’clock, with order to meet No. 3 here. After fixing a hot box Williams became impatient. He was already already three hours behind and was still losing. He is an operator, so he broke into the depot and called up Dispatcher Strange at Sedalia, to see if he could go on. Strange then called up Operator Taylor, at Lamonte and told him to keep No. 3 at Lamonte. He then ordered Williams to proceed to Lamonte. 
Taylor never delivered his order because No. 2 pulled off the Lamonte siding before he could reach it. He told the Sedalia dispatcher what had happened, the telephone was used to get Knobnoster but no one could be aroused. Here’s where the operators fall out. 
Strange claims that according to railroad rules be asked Taylor if be could get his order to the the trainmen on No. 3 and that Taylor said yes. Taylor claims that be made no such promise. Many think that Taylor was excited and Strange a little careless. 
MoPac Depot Knobnoster, MO 1914
The Case of Operator Taylor.
Writing of the arrest of Operator Charles Taylor, of Lamonte, in connection with the Knobnoster collision of of July 2, the Warrensburg Star says: From the evidence heard before the coroner’s jury at Knobnoster, it seems that Taylor is in the main responsible for the unfortunate affair, according to the rules of the railroad. No warrant has been issued for Dispatcher Strange. It is the opinion of those who are familiar with the rules of the railroad company regarding the giving and receiving of train orders that Strange cannot he held responsible under the rules of the company. Why he was discharged by the railroad unless be was in some manner responsible if not stated.
Strange claims that he sent the order to Operator Taylor to hold No. 3 at Lamonte for No 12 and that Taylor received it and wired his “O. K.”

The Salt Lake Herald (Salt Lake City, Utah)04 Jul 1908
Knob Noster Train Wreck 1908 - ADDITIONAL ADOfflONALOODlES BflilETFOUIID...

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